Patient-Centered Design Empowers The Patient
Every once in a while someone steps forward to bring attention to a cause, an industry, or a service that has potential to change lives for the better. Every once in awhile someone will roll up their sleeves, put on a pot of coffee, grab a pen and paper, and with their phone in hand make plans to take action in a positive, selfless way that ends up refining an industry based on the needs of others. Every once in a while an organization is created by someone(s) stretching their comfort zone, sacrificing their own time, energy, and money to stand up for those that cannot stand themselves – all in order to help make a difference in someone else’s life.
The Institute for Patient-Centered Design, Inc., … is that organization.
Health Care Design Professionals, along with actual health care patients and other professionals in the health care field, have collectively joined forces in order to bring about change and awareness for improving the health care environment through advocacy, education and research.
You don’t have to look far to find qualified professional Medical Heath Care Designers – but The Institute for Patient-Centered Design, Inc., takes health care facility design one step further by choosing to gain insight and perspective for the designing process by considering the opinions of the actual patient(s).
Many of us whom have not been affected or afflicted with illnesses or other detrimental health issues may be at a disadvantage when it comes to understanding how a patient might feel – or what they have to go through emotionally and/or physically during their health crisis. We can imagine, of course, the inconvenience, the financial and emotional roller coaster – but unless we have truly walked in a patients shoes, imagining their needs and wants may not qualify us to understand what would help facilitate their healing.
What the Institute for Patient-Centered Design has discovered is that you can design a professional space with all the legal and aesthetic requirements needed, while still providing the patient with a facility that also addresses their particular concerns, disabilities and desires. By involving the patient in the designing process, those that need the benefits of a health care facility most – now have a voice.
Main Components of a Patient-Centered-Design
The institute for Patient-Centered Design employs the opinion of their “contributing patients” who live with chronic illnesses and have regular ongoing health-care maintenance. These patients have spent a great deal of time receiving medical care in diverse environments, ranging from the very poorest conditions to the most excellent. They share their personal experiences with the designers – which in turn helps promote “awareness and improvements” to the care that is available for all patients.
An advisory committee comprised of health-care professionals is utilized to provide “clinical information on the requirements of a healing environment”, while also providing insight on the necessities that enable medical staff to deliver the best care available.
Medical Design Professionals are the last piece to the puzzle. By utilizing all the information gathered by the patients and health care professionals, they are then able to combine it with their expertise in architecture, construction and medical planning to reach an end result of design style, function, and principle.
Principles of Patient-Centered Design
According to the Institute for Patient-Centered design …The Institute for Patient-Centered Design supports the practice of patient-centered care by creating environmental conditions that facilitate healing. The following principles may be applied to a health facility design to engage patients:
1. Respect privacy
2. Facilitate communication, collaboration and trust
3. Encourage patient and family participation
4. Empower patients
5. Promote safety and security
6. Provide accessible accommodations
7. Create a comfortable environment
8. Facilitate healing
9. Support staff’s goals through design
10. Look for design opportunities to respond to unmet needs
Institute for Patient-Centered Design, 2011, For Healthcare Professionals page
The Institute for Patient-Centered Design empowers the patient while still providing a service that makes a difference aesthetically, emotionally, and conventionally. This organization is not only making a difference in the lives of those who are enduring an extremely difficult time – but they are also making the world of Interior Design very proud while doing it.
References: Institute for Patient-Centered Design, Inc. (2011). “Principles of Patient-Centered Design” (Online), March 27, 2011.